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1 Running head: AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1 American Revolution Persuasive Essay Student A. Sample Grand Canyon University: HIS /12/2012

2 AMERICAN REVOLUTION 2 American Revolution Persuasive Essay The American Revolutionary War forever changed the idea of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people and took the first steps in bringing an end to the world s last great true empire. The reasons the Americans decided to break free from Great Britain are numerous, but the British Empire s sense of superiority was the most important reason. Also important was the failure of the British Parliament to address the needs and growing discontent of Americans weary of taxation without representation. Colonists also began to oppose rule from Britain because of ideas developing in new intellectual schools of thought like the Enlightenment. King George III s arrogance was well founded in the 1760s, but it led to poor decision making. Early in his reign, the British had resoundingly defeated France in the Seven Years War to become the dominant power both in North America and on the Asian subcontinent. This dominance clearly created a false sense of security and as the British Empire continued to grow, its central authority, or ability to control its ever-expanding colonies, weakened significantly. Great Britain s failure to recognize its weaknesses and its foolish decision to respond to every colonial expression of discontent with a tightening of the noose effectively sealed it into an everescalating spiral of conflict. The conflict could have been avoided and King George III could have secured the colonies loyalty to the empire for generations if he would have simply signed off on a relatively modest series of reforms. The British Parliament failed to address the needs and growing discontent of Americans weary of taxation without representation. Great Britain s indifference to colonial life, its failure to recognize the fact that Americans (or any group of people willing to face the challenges of the New World) were very independent by nature, and its choice to view Americans as

3 AMERICAN REVOLUTION 3 second-class citizens directly led to a series of major political missteps beginning in the mid- 1760s. The Quartering Act forced the colonies to provide housing for British troops stationed in North America. The Americans resented and refused to enforce the act almost from day one for a number of reasons First and foremost was the cost. Creating barracks and putting up the troops was an expensive measure that the colonies were loathe to undertake. Second, the Quartering Act was indicative of a policy Americans did not support; having a large standing army in the colonies. The colonists preferred having strong militia to deal with problems and not have a large army present. (The Quartering Act, n.d., para. 3) The Stamp Act imposed a tax on every document or newspaper printed or used in the colonies (Stamp Act Imposed, n.d.). The tax was approved with no debate. Both acts alone would not have led to war, but the two together, along with many other slights including the Boston Massacre, helped radicals like Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and other New England patriots incite anti- British sentiment that would eventually lead to war. The American Revolution was a culmination of many of the ideas of the Enlightenment, a movement which began in Europe and raised ideas such as the natural rights of individuals and the responsibility of the government to protect these rights (American Revolution, n.d.). Many of the revolutionary leaders had studied major writings of the Enlightenment including those of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and the Baron de Montesquieu. From these writings, the founders gleaned the concepts of the social contract, limited government, the consent of the governed, and separation of powers. The Declaration of Independence was a direct product of Enlightenment thinking and Common Sense, one of the most influential pamphlets in American history by Thomas Paine (1776) (a key Enlightenment

4 AMERICAN REVOLUTION 4 figure), galvanized the American public to support the Revolution and condemn the monarchy in Great Britain. Great Britain, due to arrogance, failed to see the writing on the wall. King George III could have prevented the American Revolution (for at least a few more decades) from catching fire with a few simple gestures between 1760 and His failure to compromise and the failure of Parliament to deal with American discontent were key factors in the Americans final victory, and this served as a warning for monarchies around the world furthering the principles of the Enlightenment and sounding a rallying cry for future democracies.

5 AMERICAN REVOLUTION 5 References American Revolution. (n.d.). Retrieved from Causes+of+the+american+revolution Paine, T. (1776). Common sense. Philadelphia, PA: R. Bell. The Quartering Act: (n.d.). History Central. Retrieved from Stamp Act imposed. (n.d.). History Central. Retrieved from revolt/stamptax.html

6 Running head: AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1 Select a topic and write a persuasive essay ( words). Persuasive Essay Assignment Take a position on your topic by deciding if you are for or against the topic or agree or disagree with specific issues related to the topic. This would be considered the writing prompt or what you will be responding to in your essay. Persuade your audience to agree with your position. Your written essay should demonstrate critical thinking and consider and/or include the following: 1. Manage emotions and avoid fallacies. 2. Provide evidence to support your position. 3. Acknowledge other perspectives and evaluate assumptions about the topic. Use facts and figures when appropriate. 4. Use at least two outside sources in your essay to support your position. Be sure to cite and reference your sources appropriately. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required. Persuasive Essay Rubric Criteria % Value 1: Unsatisfactory 2: Less Than Satisfactory 3: Satisfactory 4: Good 5: Excellent % Scaling 0% 65% 75% 85% 100% Content 70% Identifies and Summarizes Topic 20% Does not identify and summarize the problem, is confused or identifies a Identifies the topic; presents a vague argument relative to the Identifies the topic; presents an argument relative to the topic and presents minimal Identifies the topic; presents an argument relative to the topic Identifies the topic; presents an argument relative to the topic and

7 AMERICAN REVOLUTION 2 different or inappropriate topic. topic and presents no evidence to support the argument. evidence to support the argument. Not all evidence is relevant to the argument. and presents key evidence to support the argument. presents key evidence to support the argument. Identifies not only the main issues, but also the embedded, implicit, or unspoken aspects of the topic. Evaluates Assumptions 20% Fails to identify assumptions about the topic. Identifies some common assumptions about the topic. Identifies some common assumptions about the topic and evaluates them for plausibility or clarity. Identifies and evaluates all the obvious assumptions as well as those assumptions widely accepted as truth. Identifies and evaluates all the obvious assumptions as well as assumptions widely accepted as truth. Objectively reflects upon own assumptions. Personal Perspective and Position 30% Fails to clarify one s own position on the topic. Appropriately identifies one s own position on the topic. Extensive fallacious reasoning. Position completely appeals to emotion instead of reason. Appropriately identifies one s own position on the topic. Paper includes some fallacious reasoning. Position mostly appeals to emotion instead of reason. Formulates a clear and precise personal point of view of the topic. Paper includes limited fallacious reasoning. Position appeals mostly to reason. Formulates a clear and precise personal point of view of the topic. Paper includes limited fallacious reasoning. Position appeals mostly to reason. Draws relevant support from personal experience and examples. Organization and Effectiveness 20% Thesis Development and Purpose 8% Paper lacks any discernible overall purpose or organizing claim. Thesis is insufficiently developed and/or vague; purpose is not clear. Thesis is apparent and appropriate to purpose. Thesis is clear and forecasts the development of the paper. It is descriptive and reflective of the Thesis is comprehensive; contained within the thesis is the essence of the paper. Thesis statement makes the

8 AMERICAN REVOLUTION 3 arguments and appropriate to the purpose. purpose of the paper clear. Paragraph Development and Transitions 7% Paragraphs and transitions consistently lack unity and coherence. No apparent connections between paragraphs are established. Transitions are inappropriate to purpose and scope. Organization is disjointed. Some paragraphs and transitions may lack logical progression of ideas, unity, coherence, and/or cohesiveness. Some degree of organization is evident. Paragraphs are generally competent, but ideas may show some inconsistency in organization and/or in their relationships to each other. A logical progression of ideas between paragraphs is apparent. Paragraphs exhibit a unity, coherence, and cohesiveness. Topic sentences and concluding remarks are appropriate to purpose. There is a sophisticated construction of paragraphs and transitions. Ideas progress and relate to each other. Paragraph and transition construction guide the reader. Paragraph structure is seamless. Mechanics of Writing (includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, language use) 5% Surface errors are pervasive enough that they impede communication of meaning. Inappropriate word choice and/or sentence construction are used. Frequent and repetitive mechanical errors distract the reader. Inconsistencies in language choice (register), sentence structure, and/or word choice are present. Some mechanical errors or typos are present, but are not overly distracting to the reader. Correct sentence structure and audienceappropriate language are used. Prose is largely free of mechanical errors, although a few may be present. A variety of sentence structures and effective figures of speech are used. Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English. Format 10% Paper Format (Use of appropriate style for the major and assignment) 5% Template is not used appropriately, or documentation format is rarely followed correctly. Appropriate template is used, but some elements are missing or mistaken. A lack of control with formatting is apparent. Appropriate template is used. Formatting is correct, although some minor errors may be present. Appropriate template is fully used. There are virtually no errors in formatting style. All format elements are correct.

9 AMERICAN REVOLUTION 4 Research Citations (In-text citations for paraphrasing and direct quotes, and reference page listing and formatting, as appropriate to assignment and style) 5% No reference page is included. No citations are used. Reference page is present. Citations are inconsistently used. Reference page is included and lists sources used in the paper. Sources are appropriately documented, although some errors may be present Reference page is present and fully inclusive of all cited sources. Documentation is appropriate and citation style is usually correct. In-text citations and a reference page are complete and correct. The documentation of cited sources is free of error.

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